Career path - where next?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Alan Harris-Reid, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Hi there, I wonder if any Python folk out there can help me.

    For many years I was a contractor developing desktop and web
    applications using Visual Foxpro as my main language, with Foxpro,
    SQL-server and Oracle as back-end databases. Unfortunately Foxpro was
    killed-off by Microsoft, hence my work dried-up and my last 'big'
    contract ended about a year ago. Since then I have taken time off
    programming doing house-renovation, and in the last 6 months I have been
    updating my programming skills by learning Python (3) with SQLite,
    JavaScript, HTML and CSS to a level where I can create and deploy
    data-based web-sites.

    My situation now is that I am reasonably comfortable with the above
    languages and am now in a position where I wish to return to employment
    using my new and/or existing skills (contract/permanent, full/part-time
    or teleworking). However, I have yet to find any UK vacancy which will
    accept a relative 'beginner' - they all require at least 2-3 years
    Python in a commercial environment. It's a catch-22 situation - it's
    hard to get a job without experience, but you need a job to get
    experience in the 1st place!

    I would even consider doing small projects for nothing so that I can
    'get my foot in the door' (although I hope to be wise-enough to know
    when I am being taken advantage of!). I am also mailing CVs to agencies
    I think may be interested.

    If anyone out has ideas as to how to proceed towards achieving my goal,
    I would be grateful for any advice.

    Regards,
    Alan Harris-Reid
     
    Alan Harris-Reid, Jan 12, 2011
    #1
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  2. Alan Harris-Reid

    Jon Clements Guest

    On Jan 12, 4:37 pm, Alan Harris-Reid <>
    wrote:
    > Hi there, I wonder if any Python folk out there can help me.
    >
    > For many years I was a contractor developing desktop and web
    > applications using Visual Foxpro as my main language, with Foxpro,
    > SQL-server and Oracle as back-end databases.  Unfortunately Foxpro was
    > killed-off by Microsoft, hence my work dried-up and my last 'big'
    > contract ended about a year ago.  Since then I have taken time off
    > programming doing house-renovation, and in the last 6 months I have been
    > updating my programming skills by learning Python (3) with SQLite,
    > JavaScript, HTML and CSS to a level where I can create and deploy
    > data-based web-sites.
    >
    > My situation now is that I am reasonably comfortable with the above
    > languages and am now in a position where I wish to return to employment
    > using my new and/or existing skills (contract/permanent, full/part-time
    > or teleworking).   However, I have yet to find any UK vacancy which will
    > accept a relative 'beginner' - they all require at least 2-3 years
    > Python in a commercial environment.  It's a catch-22 situation - it's
    > hard to get a job without experience, but you need a job to get
    > experience in the 1st place!
    >
    > I would even consider doing small projects for nothing so that I can
    > 'get my foot in the door' (although I hope to be wise-enough to know
    > when I am being taken advantage of!).  I am also mailing CVs to agencies
    > I think may be interested.
    >
    > If anyone out has ideas as to how to proceed towards achieving my goal,
    > I would be grateful for any advice.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Alan Harris-Reid


    Hi Alan,

    Just some ideas (not in any order, just as they're thought of):-

    - Emphasise your experience with Oracle & SQL Server, and use Python
    as a "I also have". It may be someone will accept that as viable
    (saves them a DBA or something), and maybe you'll get into an
    experienced group and get on the job training. (I assume you have good
    SQL skills).

    - Look at cwjobs.co.uk / monster / etc..., and search for Python. Get
    a list of agencies there. Phone them *first*, explain what is it
    you've done, and what you can do. If the person seems to know what
    they're talking about send your CV - but chase often.

    - Look at web-frameworks. Django seems to be the most listed for
    "required"/"nice to have". Also check out javascript-frameworks -
    jquery & extjs are the biggest 2, so at least you can say you've had
    some experience.

    - Perhaps phone your local job centre, and ask for a contact for their
    local volunteer centre. They might have something like work for a
    small charity that just needs a couple of pages done. The idea being:
    1) If it's a cause you believe in, it makes up for not getting paid;
    2) You can use it as an example and reference; 3) You might be able to
    use it as networking - might get a free lunch from an event and meet
    someone with money, that's impressed with your good will and work, and
    just happens to have a job going spare...

    - Build a copy of your CV designed for the web. Make sure it looks
    good, is HTML/CSS compliant, and even add some nice interactive stuff
    to it, and include it as a link in your CV. [The other thing you can
    do, is only display the CV on entry of a short PIN (different for each
    one you send - '2431' or something'), then you can log who's bothered
    looking at it, and when, enabling timing of a follow-up better)].

    - Look in local papers for local companies that offer not necessarily
    web design, but possibly just print design. See if you can't have a
    chat with them and get some work your way. Other options might be new-
    starts up, non-chain pubs, community/sports clubs, a local church for
    fund-raising, your local chinese/indian takeaway - wouldn't hurt to
    put their menu online with an online order form would it!? [What you
    might find about this, is that as they're not likely to be technical,
    you can take your own time, charge a reasonable amount, experiment a
    little and learn, and not have too tight deadlines or someone looking
    over your shoulder].

    Brain (or somewhere else) dump finished.

    hth

    Jon.
     
    Jon Clements, Jan 12, 2011
    #2
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